Chef John's Best Shrimp Dinner Recipes
Chef John's shrimp recipes offer a world of flavor. These seafood main dishes cover lots of tasty ground, from Hawaiian-inspired garlic shrimp to Cajun country favorites like etouffee, gumbo, and jambalaya; from San Francisco's cioppino to Southern staples like shrimp and grits; from Tuscan fish stew to fra diavolo; gambas al ajillo to paella -- they're all here! Take a crack at Chef John's favorite shrimp dinner recipes!
Hawaiian Garlic Shrimp Scampi
Here's a Hawaiian-style scampi with extra garlic and a rice flour coating. Serve over rice with fresh lemon wedges. "If you're a garlic lover, you're going to want to pull out your bucket list and add this recipe to it," says Chef John. "I absolutely love this, and I think you will too."
Chef John's Grilled Garlic and Herb Shrimp
Here's a classic grilled shrimp recipe that's so easy, so delicious. The marinade and the serving sauce are perked up with fresh herbs and crushed garlic. Chef John recommends the extra-large shrimp here "so they can grill longer and get maximum caramelization."
Chef John's New Orleans-Style Barbequed Shrimp
This grill-free BBQ shrimp dish boasts big, big New Orleans-inspired flavor. "An indigenous American shellfish dish, cooked on the stovetop," says Chef John. "It has plenty of big flavors from garlic, rosemary, and freshly cracked black pepper. Serve over hot cooked rice. Use the largest shrimp you can get."
Chef John's Cioppino
This spicy seafood stew features white fish and shellfish, like mussels, shrimp, and fresh crab. "When you feel like splurging a little, San Francisco's famous Cioppino is a great choice," says Chef John. ""A big red bowl of yummy, and when paired with a loaf of crusty sourdough bread, it's downright otherworldly."
Spanish Garlic Shrimp (Gambas al Ajillo)
Great for a tapas-style dinner! "Every Spanish restaurant serves this dish of shrimp cloaked in garlic-infused olive oil with smoky hints of paprika and a touch of sweetness from sherry," says recipe creator Chef John. "Make sure you have all your ingredients together before you head to the stove since, start to finish, this cooks in mere minutes."
Chef John's Sausage & Shrimp Jambalaya
Smoky andouille sausage, spices, and aromatic veggies lay down a very flavorful base here. "While true jambalaya is really more of a thicker rice stew than a soup, it's one of those dishes that more stock can be added to easily make it into a soup recipe," says Chef John.
Chef John's Shrimp Etouffee
Another spicy New Orleans-inspired classic. You can also make this tremendous all-purpose gravy with chicken or pork. "Excellent recipe -- rich sauce that works perfectly with the shrimp," raves jdonnellatduedu. "Next time I am going to try chicken -- or a chicken shrimp sausage mix. In other words, this is a robust recipe that holds up well to lots of fiddling. And the timings on the steps seemed just about perfect. Easy to follow with a great result!"
Firecracker Shrimp Roll with Crab Aioli
This shrimp sandwich is a thinly disguised shrimp po'boy sandwich. "I decided to do an extra spicy version, and give it a 4th of July-friendly name, but the soul of the sandwich is the same, and features an insanely great combination of hot, crunchy shrimp, and cold crabby mayo," says Chef John.
Chef John's Duck, Sausage, and Shrimp Gumbo
"This can be made with hundreds of different combinations of smoked meats, game, poultry, and seafood, and in my opinion, the more the merrier," says Chef John. For this version, Chef John features a flavorful ham hock, aromatic vegetables, andouille sausage, braised duck legs, okra, and shellfish. "The procedure is pretty straightforward, although you're talking about a full day's project. Serve in a large soup plate with a scoop of cooked white rice, a sprinkle of green onion, and a pinch of cayenne."
Chef John's Shrimp Fra Diavolo
"This recipe features the devilishly delicious shrimp fra diavolo, or 'shrimp brother devil' if we are being literal for comic effect," says Chef John. "It's really good and turns any pile of pasta or rice into a memorable meal. Some people like to add a little lemon, but I don't think it needs it unless your wine is too sweet."
Chef John's Deviled Shrimp Ragu
"This subtly sweet, fairly fiery shrimp ragu served over my creamy corn custard would make a fantastic first course for any dinner, and it's certainly rich enough to be enjoyed as a entree," says Chef John. "You can also pour this over rice or noodles with complete confidence."
Chef John's Shrimp and Grits
"Shrimp and grits is a very simple recipe," says Chef John. "But make sure you have everything ready before you start cooking the shrimp. They only take a few minutes to sauté, so you don't have time to run and chop scallions or juice a lemon. Once everything is assembled, this recipe is a snap. To make things even easier, you can make the grits a bit ahead since they stay hot a very long time."
Shrimp and Vegetable Couscous
Shrimp and couscous combine with sautéed vegetables, like tomato, zucchini, and eggplant, seasoned with tarragon, dill, garlic, and a little cayenne. "The amazing thing about couscous is how fast it 'cooks' and how versatile it is," says Chef John. "This is one of those recipes that should give you lots of ideas to create your own combinations. By the way, this is the 'home' version; the traditional method used to cook this dish uses a steamer called a kiska, sometimes called a couscoussier in French cuisine. Garnish with lemon."
Grilled Shrimp Louie
The star of the show here is the dressing -- Chef John's take on a classic Louie dressing -- which combines creme fraiche with mayonnaise, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, worchestershire, ketchup, some minced onion, and spices. "The dressing for this dish is made to use with crab, but I think the smoky grilled shrimp are a great summertime twist," says Chef John. "Make the dressing ahead of time and chill it before you adjust the seasonings."
Spicy Coconut Shrimp Bisque
A little coconut milk will temper the heat of this spicy soup. "I loved how this shrimp bisque turned out, and I think you will as well," says Chef John. "I hope you give it a try, and maybe tweak it with some different combinations of seafood and garnishes."
Tuscan Fish Stew
"I spent a few days in Florence about 30 years ago, and while I don't remember much, I do recall my surprise at how delicious the Tuscan fish stew was," says Chef John. "What I found so interesting was how herbs like oregano, sage, and rosemary, which I'd only associated with meat, were also used with seafood. Also, FYI just in case any old-school Tuscans are coming over: I hear that for this to qualify as an official Italian fish stew you need use at least 5 different types of seafood, which is both insane and adorable. Serve with crusty bread."
Quick and Easy Paella
"Consider this a gateway paella and the first step to a serious, lifelong addiction," says Chef John. "When I first do a version of a classic dish like paella, I try to use a minimum number of ingredients and steps to focus on technique. After learning the method, you'll ideally use a wider variety of ingredients, like clams, mussels, squid, and chicken, which will make your rice that much more interesting. Garnish with extra virgin olive oil, freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, and lemon wedges."